Stop Search, a hard-hitting drama, exploring the contentious and widespread use of stop and search practices disproportionately targeting young black men in the UK, will run in the Broadway Theatre, Catford, London from 27th April to 26th May.
It stars Jack Shalloo, of Hamlet! The Musical and Departure Lounge, and also features the voice talents of Bill Nighy and Sian Phillips.
At a time when black people are still stopped and searched at seven times the rate of white people, and fewer than 10% of stop-search encounters lead to an arrest, Stop Search tells the human story behind the statistics.
"I play a young PC, Greg," says Shalloo. "The story revolves around a big mistake he makes that he's desperate to cover up."
"The story of Stop Search is one that must be told, heard and acted upon," said Michael Shiner, a founding member of StopWatch, a stop-search action group. “More than 30 years after the Brixton riots, black communities still face the tragic paradox of being over-policed and under-protected.”
After the riots that shook Britain last summer, humiliating stop and search practices, including strip searching, handcuffing and verbal abuse, were singled out as a key reason for youth anger towards the police. The wedgebetween communities and the police continues to bedriven even deeper by this ineffective and counterproductive practice. In advance of London’s most important summer yet, lessons are far from learned. So how does it feel to be right in the thick of it?
Produced by the Present Theatre Company in association with StopWatch, the play is written by Dominic J. Taylor, who has previously worked at Brixton Prison and the Ministry of Justice, and produced by celebrated director Thierry Harcourt.
“The play draws on personal testimonies from those who live with stop and search, many on a daily basis,” said Taylor. “The overwhelming support we have had in the run up to launch shows that stop and search is an injustice people care more and more about.”
The production brings together a talented and experienced international creative team which has previously worked on productions including Warhorse, Evita, An Ideal Husband and It’s a Wonderful Life. The play also features music from talented young music producers Daniel Adeyemi and Mister Manga.
The play will open on Friday 27th April and will run until Saturday the 26th May. More information and ticket bookings can be found at http://www.stopsearch.co.uk/